Tractor Supply Company obtains variances; to open in January

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A new business is busy building its home in Bosque Farms, and thanks to an unanimous village council vote last week, it will get itself a sign a little taller and bigger than ordinances usually allow.

The new Tractor Supply Company store, at 890 Bosque Farms Blvd., will be allowed to have a sign that is 25-feet tall, five feet more than the prescribed 20 feet.

The village council also granted a variance on the square footage of the sign, allowing the national retail chain 108 square feet of area rather than the usual 36 square feet. The sign will be comprised of a pole topped with a six-foot-high, double-sided sign.

Construction on the building began Sept. 19, and a tentative completion date of January 2012 has been announced by the company.

Joel Cox, the company's area manager, attended the village council meeting to request the sign variance.

"Our typical sign package is a 24-foot pole, with a six-foot pylon that is 18 feet across," Cox said. "We certainly want to make our customers aware of our presence and drive business to the store.

"We also want to make sure it is safe and allows for plenty of time for people to recognize where we are and make the turn into the building."

Cox noted that the more business that comes to the store, the more gross receipts taxes generated for the village. Once the business opens its doors, it will employ 12 to 17 full-and part-time people, he said.

"We want to be able to support the community in taxes, as well," he said. "We are happy to be here. We have been looking to make the jump to central New Mexico for some time now. There should be a lot more popping up."

Mayor Wayne Ake said that would be great, "so long as they're here." That drew a chuckle from Cox and the audience.

"We're glad we were first," Ake said.

Cox said they were glad to be there, saying the village of Bosque Farms was a beautiful community.

"I understand you had a good reason to come up with the ordinance, but we would like to be considered for the sign package we usually have," he said.

Village Planning and Zoning Officer Donna Baker pointed out that other franchise businesses had been granted variances on sign sizes. The Wells Fargo sign is 100 square feet and 24-feet tall. The sign at Sonic is 72 square feet.

"It's not unusual for franchises to come in and request larger signs than the mom and pop stores," Baker said.

Councilor Russ Walkup said he didn't have a real issue with the additional square footage being requested, but the height of 30 feet was another thing.

"Right now, 20 feet is the max and you are going for a 50 percent increase. I think 30 is a little excessive," Walkup said. "When McDonald's came before us, they were requesting a very high sign and we turned them down. I think this is in the same spirit — it's too high."

Councilor Bob Knowlton started his comments, saying, "I'm glad to see you coming to Bosque Farms. It's a big deal to us."

Knowlton said he agreed with Walkup's concerns about the overall height of the sign.

"We are trying to maintain a certain look along the Boulevard," Knowlton said. "There are not many signs that tall. Can you make your signs another size?"

Cox said he wasn't sure, "but I'm pretty sure we can make any size you ask. I'm not sure about the sign package. We will work with what you give us."

Because the location is close to the intersection of Bosque Farms Boulevard and North Bosque Loop, a signalized intersection, Knowlton said he understood the company's concern about safety.

Councilor Bill Kennedy said he was familiar with the Tractor Supply Company stores in Clovis and Roswell and asked if the signs there were the same size as was being proposed for the village. Cox said they were.

"The square footage is OK, but the height is too much," Kennedy said.

Ake suggested the company "chop off five feet. We may have to look at our ordinances as more franchises come in. I had a local developer tell me that Bosque Farms is a gold mine — ready to explode. We have to keep a handle on what's going on, but we need to be accommodating."

Walkup made a motion to approve a sign variance for Tractor Supply Company, limiting their sign to 108 square feet and 24 feet high. Knowlton seconded the motion and it passed, 3-0.

Councilor Dolly Wallace was out of town, Ake said, and unable to attend the meeting.

After the meeting adjourned, Ake said the village was very encouraged that the company chose Bosque Farms as its new location.

"It's a good thing. We will see an increase in gross receipts," Ake said. "But we have heard very good things about Tractor Supply being a quality business, so we're hoping other businesses will want to be nearby and associated with them."

Knowlton said that in discussions with Tractor Supply representatives, he asked if they had looked at the village's economic development website, which contains business demographic information about the village.

"They said they looked at the site, so that was good to hear," he said. "All the economic development seminars I've attended, everyone has said a website is the No. 1, low-cost thing you can do to draw business to your community."

The new 19,097-square-foot building will include a sales floor and support service space. A fenced exterior space will be used for storage and displaying items, such as fencing, sprayers and livestock equipment.

Tractor Supply Company is the largest retail farm and ranch supply store chain in the U.S., according to a press release, and has been operating in New Mexico since 2007. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in 44 states.

The stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers. The company also serves the maintenance needs of those who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses.

Tractor Supply Company stores offers a selection of merchandise for the health, care, growth and containment of horses, livestock and pets.

For information on Tractor Supply Company, visit www.tractorsupply.com.


Contact Julia M. Dendinger